Where? or Where. – कहाँ? जहाँ।

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Today we learn about the other word that means “Where”.  There is a question word, कहाँ that means “Where is something?”   There there is another word for “Where” that refers to an unspecified place.  For example, the sentence, “Home is where the heart is.”  Or the phrase, “Where there is love, there is peace.”  Both of those sentences have the word “Where” in them, but it is not the question word.  (Actually, I never thought about this until I started to learn Hindi and found out there are two words that mean “where” because there are actually two purposes that we use the word “where” for in English.  You can learn a lot about your own language by learning a different one.)  Before we cover that, let us review the questions from the last lesson.

Answers to Questions

At the bottom of the last lesson, I put 10 questions for you to answer.  If you have not done so already, please listen to it and try to complete the questions. 

Use the correct form of रहना (rahanaa) the verb that means to live or to stay.  (Example:  I stay in Houston.)  Your choices are रहता, रहती, or रहते.

1) आप कहाँ ___रहते___ हैं?  (talking to a man)

2) आप कहाँ ___रहती____ हैं?  (talking to a woman)

3) मैं दिल्ली में ___रहता____ हूँ। (spoken by a man)

4) मैं आगरा में ___रहती____ हूँ। (spoken by a woman)

What do the following words mean:

5) सिर्फ __only______

6) मैं ___I_____

7) में ____in_____  (This is very similar to the previous word (6), but there is a very slight difference.  Notice how question 6 has 2 lines and the word in question 7 only has one line on the top?  Despite how close they are written and pronounced, they mean completely different things.)

8) बच्चा ___child_____

Translate the following into Hindi:

9) vegetarian  __शाकाहरी ______

10) non-vegetarian  __माँसाहारी__



Today’s lesson


Use कहाँ (kahaan) to ask “Where?” something is.  If you want to ask, “Where is your car?”, “Where is your house?”, “Where are you from?”, “Where do you work?” and the like, use कहाँ (kahaan).


If you want to talk about an unspecified location, for example: “Where my purse is, there my keys are too.”, “Look where you found the papers.”, “Where the home is there the heart is.”, then you need to use जहाँ (jahaan). 

You need to be care, not all questions with “where” in it use the कहाँ (kahaan) form.  Consider this sentence: “Did you look where you found the box?”  In this sentence “Did” is the question word, and “where” is used in the same sense as a statement.


Let us look at some contrasting sentences.  In each pair, the first one uses कहाँ (kahaan) and in the second one it uses जहाँ (jahaan):

1) आप कहाँ हैं? (aap kahaan hain) – Where are you?

2) जहाँ आप हैं मैं वहाँ हूँ। (jahaan aap hain mein vahaan huun) – Where you are, I am there.



1) मेरी किताब कहाँ है? (merii kitaab kahaan hai) – Where is my book?

2) जहाँ मेरी किताब है वहाँ मेरी ऐनक है। (jahaan merii kitaab hai vahaan meri einak hai) –   Where my book is there my glasses are. 


1) कहाँ मेरा खाना है?  (kahaan meraa khaanaa) – Where is my food?

2) जहाँ मेरा खाना है वहाँ मेरा पानी भी है। (jahaan meraa khaanaa hai vahaan mera paanii bhi hai) –  Where my food is there my water is also.


Review Questions

Translate the following from Hindi into English

1) किताब ________

2) ऐनक ________

3) खाना ________

Translate the following from English into Hindi.

4) there  _________

5) my/mine _______

6)  water _____

7)  there ________

Fill in the blank with the correct word: कहाँ or जहाँ

8) घर _______ है?

9) _____ मेरा घर है वहाँ मेरा दफ्तर है।







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